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Judge stops Nov. 5 BISD election
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
Judge Floyd ruled late this afternoon the election would be stopped.
Early voting was underway for an election that will not happen.
A judge determined the fate of the Beaumont school board election.
Outside the administration building there are no early voting signs posted, just campaign material for Joey Hilliard and incumbent Janice Brassard.
The district seven seat was the only contested race.
With only 16 votes cast, it's still not clear what will happen with those votes.
The school board met early Monday morning and voted to ask Judge Floyd to cancel or reschedule the election.
Immediately after the meeting, BISD representatives went to Judge Floyd's court. Hours later... he signed papers saying there would be no November 5 election.
Last week, an appeals court in Beaumont ruled the November 5th election would violate state law because it wouldn't be a joint election with the city, county or state.
The appeals court also said BISD must hold an election under a map calling for five single member districts and two at large seats.
The board today voted against moving ahead and hiring an expert to draw a plan.
The board okayed hiring election judges for the November vote, despite the uncertainty.
BISD representatives say they want a fair vote.
"They said that we're not going to just install board members as these plaintiffs suggested. So, we're past that now and we're going to have an actual election where everybody in BISD is going to have a fair vote," BISD attorney Chad Dunn says.
An attorney for the other side says BISD incumbents don't want to risk giving up their power.
"It has cost the BISD taxpayers hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. The motivating factor behind it all was the intent to keep three entrenched incumbents in office, it was not to hold an election that was fair," David Van De Cordova, a plaintiffs attorney says.
Representatives with the district say only 16 people took part in early voting.